KIDS APNEA.COM   The website of Allen J.Moses, DDS


Breathing is the transport of gases to and from the lungs and tissues.  Breathing gets oxygen (O2) to the cells of the body, removes excess carbon dioxide (CO2) and regulates the chemical balance in the body between O2 and CO2.  CO2 is the major chemical factor regulating ventilation.  It is produced in the body by cell metabolism, exercise and digestion.  CO2 can be stored in the blood, is a necessary factor to maintain pH by its buffering action as bicarbonate or carbonic acid.  It can facilitate release of oxygen from hemoglobin, prevents smooth muscle from going into spasm and triggers breathing.  As CO2 builds up in the body it changes the pH of the blood, which in turn triggers the brain at the medullary center to take a breath.  A pattern of breathing develops that maintains the appropriate blood O2 and CO2 levels with the minimum expenditure of energy.  Breathing is carried on automatically.  The exception is when we do not wish to use the breathing apparatus for some specific task such as trumpet playing, swallowing, vomiting or singing.  Only then is breathing under conscious control.

The respiratory central pathway maintains the patent airway and dominates reflex control of the oral and pharyngeal region.  It supersedes all other reflexes.

Human beings are obligate nasal breathers.  The mouth is merely a back-up breathing organ.  The nose is the ideal organ for warming, filtration and humidification of inhaled air.  Breathing is a primal function necessary for survival.  It is a reflex function that predominates over all regulatory activity of the brain.  Evolutionary design of humans is based on facilitation of nasal breathing.  Adaptation of humans to an erect posture requires the back and neck to balance the head in the upright posture.  Ideal posture requires a balance of structure and function.




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